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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 26, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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of "curb your enthusiasm." the new book "what would susie say," then there are words we can't repeat. great thanks and pleasure to meet you. >> you, too. keith. that's "countdown" for this 2,370th day since the previous president declared mission accomplished in iraq. good night and good luck. to discuss the senate plan for health care reform with senator john wyden, here is rachel maddow. >> i will never again use an atm without thinking about that. thank you very much. >> one convert for susie. there you go. >> thanks, keith. thank you at home for opting in for the next hour. the wait for an actual health reform bill is over, just like that. now the fight over health reform is about an actual thing instead of a potential thing on to which we project all our fears. public option champion senator john wyden will join us live this hour. richard engel will join us live from kabul after a horrendous day in afghanistan.
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plus, jaw-dropping reporting by the kansas city "star" reporting about the accused murderer of dr. george tiller, the abortion provider murdered inside his church earlier this year. apparently his alleged murderer has a fan club. if you have any hairs on the back of your neck when you hear how these folks are raising money, the hairs on your neck will stand up. plus, kent jones is on assignment for us. he joins us live from near the scene of george w. bush's big motivational speech today in texas. yes. it's all ahead. but we begin with what was a very big day today in washington. today, just a few days shy of november, the u.s. senate took one giant step closer to where president obama wanted it to be in august. in a highly anticipated afternoon press conference today the top democrat in the senate harry reid announced what the senate will be voting on when it votes on health reform. months worth of speculation about whether there would be a public option in the bill has now ended. there will be a public option.
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>> i believe that a public option can achieve the goal of bringing meaningful reform to our broken system. it will protect consumers, keep insurers honest and ensure competition. that's why we intend to include it in the bill that will be submitted to the senate. i've concluded with the support of the white house, senators dodd and baucus, that the best way to move forward is include a public option, with the opt-out provision for states. >> there you have it. the public option lives. but it's a public option with a big asterisk. a state that doesn't want the public option can opt out of the public option. there is a pretty big range of options overall on the table to fix our broken health system. one far end of the spectrum, we could have ended up with a british style nationalized health system. the government owning the health care system employing doctors and providing coverage for every resident, man, woman and child. that's what we have for veterans health care.
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that's how the va runs and how england runs. if we can't get that, too conservative of a country to go for something like that for more than just the veterans, we could have gone for the canadian system, which is essentially medicare. the government doesn't employ doctors and nurses like in england but it's a single payer system. the government provides everyone with insurance. that's what canada is. that's what medicare is. a more conservative alternative to that is -- there's no flag for this one, but it's the public option. a public option that's available to everyone. one medicare-style, government-run health insurance program that competes with all of our private insurance companies. you can either get your insurance from like bluecross or you can get it from the government if you like. that's what our next guest, senator ron wyden has proposed. everyone has the choice of a public option if they want it. but now more conservative than that is a public option that is only available to you if you are currently uninsured.
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already have insurance but you don't like it, sorry, no public option for you. even more conservative than that is a public option that's only for the uninsured and is only in some places. it's only available to some people in some parts of the country. if your state's lawmakers decide they don't want michiganders, if you live in one of those states you don't get the choice. even more conservative than that -- this is a big one -- stick. sorry, they don't make tape like they used to. it's the public option maybe someday. this is the triggered public option that only kicks in if certain yet-to-be determined goals aren't met by private insurance companies down the road. where we ended up today is not the trigger. so not maybe some day. we didn't get the most conservative of all those options. but we also didn't get what they
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do in britain and the va or what they got in canada with medicare. we also didn't get a public option available to everyone or even a public option available only to uninsured people. what we got is a public option only available to uninsured people only in some places. woo-hoo, thank goodness we have 60 democrats in the senate. of all the difrpt things harry reid could have put forward. of all of the options we had as a country, we ended up at least in the senate proposal with a publics option but with a really modest conservative version of the public option. maybe that means it will get 100 votes in the senate? yeah, right. republicans will clearly all still vote against this. even olympia snowe says this is too much public option for her to stand. beyond the politics though how well will this work? it's a public option, again, just for uninsured people and probably won't be available in some states. one of the main arguments for the public option is that it would be big and it would not only have the potential to give
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people another option at the consumer level, another choice of who you get your insurance from. it would also, because it would be big, have the potential to save the country a lot of money on health care. part of the reason, because if it's big enough, it can spread the insurance risk among that many more people. it also needs to be a big enough player in the marketplace to be able to bargain effectively to keep costs down. if they only take up a really small part of the market they won't have much bargaining power with the people who control how high health costs are. the smaller the number of people that are allowed to participate in the public option, the more you restrict who can get it, based on things like where people live or whether or not they've already got some other form of insurance. the less likely it's going to be. the bigger it is, the more effective it's going to be at keeping costs down. so politically what's been created is an incentive in which conservative politicians can say at the state level the public option won't work and if enough of them can persuade their states to opt out of it, then that prediction that it won't work could become a self
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fulfilling prophecy. still, though, we have sort of come a long way, even with the asterisks. joining us democratic senator ron wyden of oregon a consistent proponent of making the public option available to everyone. thanks very much for your time. >> thanks for having me again. do you think i was right with my props, that that's sort of the descending cascade of conservative options that we had on health reform? >> rachel, those were great signs. and the fact is that the public option will be a great tool, if people can get it. seems to me that harry reid deserves a lot of credit tonight. he's made it clear there ought to be options, but i continue to be concerned that the way this proposal is written, more than 90% of americans, seven years after the bill becomes law, won't be able to hold insurance companies accountable. they won't be able to get the public option at the exchange, the marketplace, nor will they get additional private choices. you can't get an accountable
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insurance industry with just a small fraction of the population. you've got to have the whole customer base of the industry on the line. >> when we look at what is proposed today by senator reid and we look at the process between now and the senate ultimately voting on something, potential amendments and the process this is going to go through, do you think what senator reid is proposing could be amended to make it more effective in your eyes? >> i think senator reid has taken a strong step in the right direction. i do think when you ask the american people about this, you do a poll, for example, you never ask them whether they support the idea of 10% of americans getting the public option. you always ask whether all americans should have it. i think the country supports that approach. that's what i'm going to fight for on the floor. the fact is that americans all across the country use as a talking point that everybody should get this public option. now we've got to get it in the bill. >> let me ask you on the issue of talking points specifically, today senator reid's office did
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put out a list of talking points on health reform for democratic senators. and the last one caught my eye because i knew i was going to be talking to you. it says, quote, under our plan, if you like what you have, you can keep it but if you don't there will be affordable choices for you that can't be taken away. is that really accurate if such a small proportion of the american public is going to have access to the public option? if the public option is the affordable way around what the limited options are right now is that really true? >> right now, reality is not in line with the rhetoric. now, we have a lot of opportunities to turn this around. as i say, senator reid has been a strong consumer advocate. he's advocating, for example, for mccarran-ferguson to take away the antitrust break. but, yes, we have to make sure that it's possible for americans who hate their insurance company, who feel their insurance company is abusing them to have choices like members of congress. members of congress, if you get ripped off in the fall of 2009,
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you have plenty of choices. but under this bill seven years after it's adopted, 90% of americans still won't have choice. >> it seems like the potential for passing something that is robust and ambitious in health reform increases with a -- it -- the chances of something important passes increases as you get close to a 50-vote margin for what you need for passing something. in other words, if the republicans can filibuster the bill, set a 60-vote threshold for what it takes to pass something our options as a country are much more limited in terms of what we can get out of health reform. the only way the republican can filibuster is if a democrat sides with them. do you think that a democrat will side with republicans to filibuster this vote, give it a 60-vote threshold? >> i think if progressives stay at this, continue at the grassroots level to make the case that all americans should have choice, all americans ought to be able to hold insurance companies accountable, i think we'll have 60 votes in the united states senate for a strong bill.
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but obviously, this is the key time, rachel. you asked, for example, about making sure that all americans had choices, not just talking points. if folks at the grassroots level, the folks who are carrying those signs about the public option now say, look, it's not good enough that only 10% of the population can hold insurance companies accountable, it's not good enough at a crucial time in american history to have choice available only to a handful of people who are poor and sick and unemployed, that's almost like a health care ghetto. let's hold insurance companies accountable the right way by making them put their whole customer base on the line. democratic senator wine wyden of oregon, thanks for your clarity. it's always good to talk to you. >> thank you. senate democrats are trying to pass some form of health reform. some of the republican colleagues are busy blocking president obama's surgeon general's nominee. the reason why is remarkable. the man accused of killing abortion provider dr. tiller and
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his supporters plan to auction off souvenirs from the radical violent antiabortion fringe in order to raise money for his defense. this reporting is shocking. dr. tiller's family attorney joins us next. do not miss it. tylenol 8 hour eases body pain... with one layer that works fast, ...and another that lasts all day. ( cracking, crash ) that was delivered fast! it's not delivery and we'd like it back. new digiorno ultimate toppings pepperoni, with 50% more pepperoni. taste. believe. it's not delivery, it's digiorno. breaking up is hard to do. so allstate will do it for you. switch to allstate, and your new agent will... help tell your old insurance company goodbye. saving you that uncomfortable breakup moment. and serious cash. drivers who switched saved an average of $396 a year.
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it's a pencil drawing.
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it's a rendering of david and goliath, a really gory rendering. david's got a slingshot in his hand and somehow with that slingshot he's managed to decapitate goliath. david has goliath's head in his hand. the headless corpse is at david's feet and the name tiller as in dr. george tiller is written on the decapitated goliath head. the headless corpse is labeled child-murdering industry. and the whole gory, shocking, pencil art celebration and attempted justification of the murder of dr. george tiller is autographed by the man charged with killing dr. tiller. and you could buy that. scott roeder is charged with first degree murder in dr. tiller's death. he was shot at point blank range inside his church on may 31st of this year. scott roeder supporters are planning to auction off that signed artwork, the david and goliath celebration of dr. tiller's murder and more, to fund mr. roeder's defense. judy thomas reported for the
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kansas city star this weekend reported that the extreme fringe is planning an auction of anti-abortion, terroristic souvenirs to benefit mr. roeder. in addition to the prison art signed by mr. roeder himself, they plan on auctioning off a cookbook of recipes you can make in prison written by the woman who shot dr. tiller in 1993 before mr. roeder allegedly did so this year. they plan on putting a minimum bid of $500 on a vhs tape of people praying for the woman who shot dr. tiller back in the '90s. they think they can get 500 bucks had for that tape because the person featured praying on that tape is paul hill, who assassinated another doctor. paul hill has since been executed by the state of florida, making him even more of a hero to the anti-abortion movement's terrorist friends.
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another anti-abortion activist who spent years in prison for bombing abortion clinics is donating an autographed copy of his book "a the army of god today on their website praises scott roeder as an american hero for having allegedly killed dr. tiller. in 1996, the army of god's printed manual went beyond praising and advocating violence against doctors and facilities that provided abortions. it actually explained how to do
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that, giving detailed instructions on how to shut down clinics, including how to build bombs to blow them up. an original copy of that terrorist classic will be auctioned to benefit and, frankly, to celebrate the latest member of this movement, that celebrates and promotes this kind of violence to have at least allegedly made good on the murder that these folks promised. joining us is lee thompson, an attorney who represented the late dr. tiller for 16 years and is currently the attorney for dr. tiller's widow and the doctor's estate. thanks very much for coming on this show. >> thank you for having me. >> first i'll just ask for your reaction or the reaction of dr. tiller's family to this planned fund-raising effort for mr. roeder. >> well, obviously, we believe that this is nothing more than a reprehensible publicity stunt that is fostered by the same people trying to sell the same publications that generated the
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climate of hatred and fear that led to dr. tiller's murder. fortunately, it's probably also a useless exercise, because the drawings and other materials from criminals would generate funds that ought to be attached by the kansas victim compensation fund under our son of sam law. so obviously, if this goes ahead, we'll be asking the attorney general of kansas to simply attach whatever funds and use them to help other victims of crimes. >> separate from the question of fund-raising or, as you say, it would in this case be attempted fund-raising, how present are your concerns about more violence coming from the radical anti-abortion movement? certainly it is troubling to see mr. roeder as he sits there charged with first degree murder in dr. tiller's death to see him celebrated in this way. >> absolutely. and i think it's obvious when you look at these very materials that it's the rhetoric that was
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promoted by these groups that has led to violence. the hatton book of the army of god, for example, had hints on gluing locks at abortion clinics, which roeder did in kansas city, hints and directions on flooding clinic roofs, which they did to dr. tiller's clinic in wichita, bombing instructions and other violent directions that all led to that climate that made people think it was okay to do this. they also suggested, i think, that it was justified and, thus, gave the impression that there was some justification, a defense which the law has routinely rejected. >> since dr. tiller's murder, clearly the very far fringe, the violent fringe of the anti-abortion movement, has decided to celebrate mr. roeder. the pro choice movement and i think a lot of centrists that didn't see themselves as allied with this issue at all before dr. tiller's murder, have also organized in the wake of the assassination and i think tried to change minds and tried to change the climate in the country in the wake of that assassination. what's been your reaction to the
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overall way in which the murder affected the country on both sides? >> well, obviously, any attempt to use it to promote anti-abortion feelings is awful. it is sick. it is the worst possible thing that could be done. this was a criminal act. it was a premeditated act. and anything that says it was okay or good is simply wrong. dr. tiller provided a service that provided constitutionally protected rights for his patients. and it's extremely disturbing that the climate of fear is still being generated. whether or not it should be used to promote the pro choice approach is something that i'll leave up to those who are doing it. i think the family would just as soon people remember dr. tiller for the service he gave to women over a long and distinguished career. >> mr. thompson, what happens next in the case of scott roeder?
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i wonder if legally you believe that we can conclude from this fund-raising effort that he's going to try to put abortion rights on trial, that he'll try to put the memory of dr. tiller on trial in his own defense. >> well, they say the fund-raiser is to hire an attorney to advance what's called the necessity defense, a justification for some violent act. but that's been routinely rejected by virtually every court and certainly been rejected by the supreme court of kansas, which in 1993 in an abortion case said to permit such a defense would invite chaos and perhaps could lead ultimately to anarchy. so i can't imagine that any judge sitting in wichita, kansas, would go against the kansas supreme court on that issue. i think we really don't see that sort of publicity stunt working in kansas courts very often. and i believe, with everything i hold dear, that that will be the case in this case. >> lee thompson, attorney for dr. george tiller's widow and dr. tiller's estate. i know this is an upsetting turn
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of events for dr. tiller and his family. thanks for being willing to talk to us about it tonight. >> appreciate you having us. thank you. senate republicans have been quietly hard at work of late blocking the confirmation vote for president obama's nominee to be surgeon general. good thing we're not in a swine flu epidemic or anything. have you heard the grounds on which they're blocking her?fe yeah, stay tuned. o - cherry. oil or cream? oil or cream? cream. some use hydrogenated oil. reddi-wip uses real dairy cream. nothing's more real than reddi-wip. on the road right now," proclaims "gq" magazine. did you see that? "the interior positively oozes class," raves "car" magazine. "slick and sensuous," boasts "the washington times." the "most striking vw in recent memory," declares-- max: ok, i get already! i think we were in a car commercial. ♪ yeah
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our people are our most
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precious resource. we're reminded of this again with today's helicopter crashes in afghanistan. 14 americans gave their lives, and our prayers are with these service members, their civilian colleagues and the families who loved them. >> president obama speaking today at the naval air station in jacksonville, florida. we have just experienced one of the most lethal days for americans in afghanistan since the war began eight years ago. 14 americans killed in two separate helicopter crashes. in addition to two other american troops killed this weekend due to hostile action in the eastern part of the country. the first crash before sunrise in the southern part of the country in the helmand province when two marine corps helicopters hit each other in midflight. four american service members were killed and two were injured in that crash. the second crash was even more deadly in the western part of the country. when a massive chinook twin
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rotor helicopter went down following a gun battle with insurgents at a facility called a weapons and drug trafficking site. seven american troops and three civilians working for the drug enforcement agency were killed in the chinook crash. 26 americans were injured. an american spokeswoman says they're 90% sure the chinook was not brought down by gunfire. the taliban is claiming responsibility. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel was the only member of the media in the vicinity when the mission that ended in the downed helicopter was launched. his crew shot this video of the chinook heading out on the mission. 36 american troops and dea agents and afghan troops, there you can see them boarding the aircraft. joining us now live from afghanistan is nbc news' chief foreign correspondent richard engel. thank you so much for joining us after what has been a very rough day. what can you tell us about the
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mission these troops were on when this chinook crashed? >> reporter: we were on a base in western afghanistan, and it was clear that they were going on what they expected would be a dangerous mission. and the reason i say this is we spoke to the commanders before they went out on to this mission. they were pushing into an area, again, in western afghanistan where u.s. troops hadn't been for a very long time. so they didn't know exactly what they were going to expect. they thought they would likely get into some sort of gunfight. the two helicopters left from this base where we were also stationed, went to this area where there was a suspected, as you mentioned, drug storage and trafficking site. they got into a gunfight, killed several insurgents there, destroyed some narcotics and weapons. they considered this to be a successful mission. then as the u.s./afghan troops and some of the government
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civilians were leaving the area, one of those two helicopters crashed, and they're not exactly sure why it crashed. but it was -- there were quite a few people on board and almost all of them were either killed or injured. so it was a very serious incident. the military has asked us not to get into too many specific details about the unit that were involved or the exact location, because the notification process, telling the families that their loved ones are not coming back from afghanistan is now currently under way. >> richard, one of the things you and i have talked about in regard to both the wars in iraq and afghanistan is wear and tear after this many years of war. how dependent is the u.s. mission in afghanistan on helicopters for transportation? and how reliable are helicopters in that environment? >> reporter: they are still considered the safest way and the fastest way and the quietest way to travel. the reason they go into -- go in with helicopters on air assaults
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like this is that they can arrive quickly at the target and hopefully get there before the militants know that they've -- that their objective is compromised. they do get a lot of wear and tear because of the hours of use, because of their age, and because of the terrain here. it's the dust that gets into the motor. and as these motors spin and the dust gets inside of them, a lot of times it will cake inside and really tear through the motors. they do go through quite a bit of maintenance. and we know that these helicopters had very recently been maintained, which is the norm. the reason i say that is we were supposed to be on this mission and instead of two helicopters, there was supposed to be a third helicopter. that helicopter didn't arrive, for a variety of reasons, so we weren't able to go. but the two helicopters that did leave had recently been maintained and they wouldn't have left and taken off on this mission if the crew felt they weren't flight ready.
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>> just reinforcing the dangers that you're going through in order to be able to bring us the story. richard, we know that three drug enforcement agency civilians were killed in this crash. and it has been described the site that they were targeting -- has been described as you said both weapons and drug trafficking related. are u.s. troops doing a lot of anti-drug operations? how does that fit into the overall military mission? >> reporter: u.s. troops say their mission is not to directly target the drug industry. if it is just a for-consumption or for-cash basis, that is not their objective. they will target this facility, however, when there is a direct link to the insurgency. that's what happened here. there was a market area, almost a bazaar where a lot of drug dealers were operating. and this is where the drugs for weapons swap was taking place. so militants would be selling opium products and then trading
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them for weapons and then the weapons and the funding would be used for militants, including the taliban to carry out activities. so if it is a pure drug operation, no, the u.s. military aren't involved. but if they do see a connection with the insurgency, then they believe it is their priority as well. >> nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. thanks for helping us understand what's happening there, and thanks for staying up all night to do it. safe travels. >> reporter: my pleasure. "the rachel maddow show's" own kent jones is somewhere nowhere near as dangerous as where richard was tonight. kent jones is in texas, but he is on assignment there for us. we dispatched kent to ft. worth to see what he could learn from the folks who attended the get motivated seminar in ft. worth today that starred former president george w. bush. kent jones joins us live from texas in just a moment. but first, one more thing about life during wartime. in addition to the horrendous headlines from afghanistan in
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the past 24 hours, america's other war has just made the front pages for the first time in months. two synchronized suicide car bombs killed at least 155 people and wounded more than 500 people in central baghdad yesterday. it was baghdad's deadliest attack in more than two years. the bombs went off outside the ministry of justice and the ministry of public works as well as the provincial council offices for baghdad. prime minister nuri al maliki toured the site as rescuers carted off the dead and wounded. funerals for many of the dead were held today throughout the city. this was a well coordinated attack on an area in baghdad that's supposed to be well protected. both bombs were huge. combined they weighed almost 4,000 pounds. in order to reach their targets, the bombers driving these truck bombs had to pass through several check points that were guarded by security forces. and those are security forces who were supposed to be using handheld devices designed to detect explosives. a senior fellow at the center
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for american progress and all-around iraq expert told our producers today, quote -- the iraqi government claims more than 75 people have already been arrested in connection with the bombing. and earlier today al qaeda's islamic state of iraq issued a statement taking credit for the bombing. we will keep you posted on further developments. for over 150 years, wells fargo has
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kent jones will be joining us live from texas with a full report on his day getting motivated. that's right, we sent kent to ft. worth to find out what he could about the get motivated seminar at which george w. bush spoke today. apparently, it rained a lot. plus, there's a controversy at the university of kentucky at the intersection of big time college basketball and the big time generosity of big coal. there are strings attached, as you might imagine. very weird sports and politics story coming up. first a couple of holy mackerel stories. the tea party protesters are
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launching a brand new bus tour, one which they appeared to have named after the second terminator movie, the tea party express ii, countdown to judgment day! yes, that's actually what it's called. it's now making stops in california. for those of you keeping track at home, there are now essentially two competing tea party movements. washington independent reporter dave wigel has covered the widening rift between the tea party patriots and the tea party express. the tea party express terminator bus tour tea partiers are affiliated with a republican political action committee and they're considered by the tea party patriots to be too partisan, by which they mean too supportive of the republican party. here's the fascinating part. it appears that in the divorce between the patriots and the express, it was the tea party express people, the people on the bus, the people affiliated with the pac, those are the ones that got fox news.
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back when the tea parties were billed as protests before there was a rift, fox news ran promos, not reports but promotional announcements for these planned protests. >> announcer: april 15th, all across the country, americans are making their voices heard. in california, texas, georgia, washington, d.c. citizens are standing up, saying no to more taxes and demanding real economic solutions. >> we report, you decide. then over the summer, the tea party express launched its first bus tour and fox news accepted the invitation. here's a dispatch, a typical dispatch from fox embedded tea party express correspondent, griff jenkins. >> reporter: welcome to reno, nevada. this is stop number two on the tea party express. they're taking their message, it's a group called our country deserves better. they're taking their message from sacramento, california, where this all started today, all the way to washington, d.c.
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and by the way, i haven't found an angry mob. found a lot of viewers of fox news who are glad that we're out here covering them. >> right on, griff. that was an example not of covering a protest but participating in one and helping to organize it. and when people describe fox news as a political operation and not a news network, that's what they're talking about. the tea party express's second bus tour starts this week. we will not be embedding on the bus. next up, remember when president obama nominated a new surgeon general? if you don't remember that, it's because it happened a really long time ago, way back on july 13th when the president announced dr. regina benjamin, a family physician from alabama, was going to be his pick. she was finally and unanimously approved by the senate health, education, labor and pensions committee early this month but she hasn't received a full vote in the senate. senate republicans are holding up her nomination. as a favor to the health insurance industry. as we reported on this show last month the health insurance
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company humana sent out a mailer targeting seniors designed to scare them about health reform. the mailer said in part, quote, millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many important benefits and services. not only in poor taste and factually dubious but quite possibly in violation of the marketing rules that humana has to follow as a provider as part of medicare, rules designed so that medicare patients won't be confused about who is sending information about their benefits, confused as to whether it's the insurance companies or the government. democratic senator max baucus responded to the mailer by urging the department of health and human services to take action, which they did in the form of starting an investigation into humana's mailer. it's still ongoing. as roll call newspaper now reports it's because of that investigation that senate republicans are holding up the nomination of dr. regina benjamin to be surgeon general of the united states. so at a time when there have been a thousand deaths from swine flu and the president declared a national emergency, we as a country don't deserve a
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president george w. bush's new job after leaving the white house? motivational speaker. no, really. our motivated motivational speaking correspondent kent jones went on scene to george w. bush's speech today to check it out. he'll be here with a live report. xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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joseph w. craft iii is the head of a coal company called alliance coal. nothing wrong with that. joseph w. craft iii also loves university of kentucky wildcat basketball. definitely nothing wrong with that. joseph w. craft iii loves university of kentucky wildcat basketball so much that the school's basketball practice facility is called the joe craft center in his honor. sort of in his honor. more like in recognition of just how much money he gave the university of kentucky to build that practice facility. but now mr. craft is taking it all one step further. according to the agenda of tomorrow's university of kentucky board of trustees' meeting tomorrow, mr. craft is willing to bundle together a big fat $7 million donation to the university of kentucky in order to build a new dorm to house the school's men's basketball team, but he's telling the university of kentucky that it will not be good enough this time just to put mr. craft's own name on the building.
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no, this time, for $7 million, he wants the word coal to be in the name of the new dorm. coal? mr. craft is the head of a coal company and if it's coal company profits paying for the basketball dorm, then that dorm better darn well be called the house of coal dorm or something? joining us now to try to make sense of this, dave zirin, sports editor for "the nation" magazine. great to see you. thanks for joining us. >> great to be here. >> when america thinks basketball, america thinks black lung? what is this? what does this mean? >> this is a bad idea for three reasons. there may be more but three i came up with right away. the first one is that the dorm itself, according to university guidelines, is actually going to be run on green energy. yet, it's going to be called the wildcat coal lodge. i mean, that's like opening a vegetarian restaurant and calling it mcdonald's. it makes no sense. the second thing which is ridiculous what a terrible name for your dorm, the coal lodge. if i were an incoming freshman,
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i would ask where is the butter churner and the pot belly stove? it's terrible. where do you live? the coal lodge. third reason is that to build this dorm, they're going to be tearing one down that's called the joe b. hall lodge. called the joe b. hall lodge. for viewers who don't know, joe b. hall was born in kentucky, he went to kentucky, he played form kentucky, he coached kentucky to a national championship. he has done everything except put on a saddling and run in the derby. this is such a disrespect to joe b. hall. >> what it means to college athletics to go with the resume you just described to the coal hut or whatever it is going to be, what does that say about the power of industry and college athletics? is it not so much even a quantitatively different thing? >> it says something very scary. this to me, you're crossing a serious line. we all know on a lot of
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campuses, their corporate naming rights on the stadiums like the university. maryland right from where i am. people play at the comcast center. that's where they play to. actually put a brand name on a dorm, you're getting into something a little scary. like is the kennedy school of government going to be goldman sachs presents the kennedy school of government? once again, imagine you're a freshman and you say come to my dorm, it is called smith hall bill mennen. ♪ and you have to say that every time you go to the dorm. keep it off the campuses, please. >> i understand some students are petitioning against this on the university of kentucky campus. are they going to get the final say? who decides this? >> this will be the school president, lee todd, who is a former executive at ibm. he hasn't been on a college campus teaching since the 1980s. this is a business decision. it is interesting. the coalition on campus, it is environmentalists but also students who are basketball fans
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and students who are like, look, we want kentucky to be a school that speaks to the 21st century, not the fleent century. we don't want to live in a dorm called coal. >> sports editor at the nation, you're a good man. thanks for joining us. >> my privilege. >> coming up, the co-star of curb your enthusiasm will be keith's guest on the merry go round political funnies. next, kent jones found out what there was to find out about george w. bush's debut as a motivational speaker. kent joins us reportedly dry but well informed. i'd like one of those desserts and some coffee.
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he was among a roster of speakers who could be seen for the low, low price. $4.04 a person. since we first reported on president bush's intention to speak at this event, we've received a lot of unsolicited e-mails from viewers who told us they had attended get motivated events. thern a way to get rich quick schemes. we asked one of the organize betters those complaints last week. she very politely said people were only ofrld opportunities to further their education, and she reiterated that all faiths are welcome at their events. so we sent our owner kent jones to ft. worth to the convention center and had him ask people in the rain what they thought about it. joining us from the land known as the metroplex. now warm and dry. our own intrepid kent jones. kent, dude, how you was it? how did it go? >> fantastic. the event you was closed to the press. but i as a citizen bought a
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ticket to go just because i have years you just motivational issues. so i can't report on what happened inside. i went outside to talk to some folks afterwards in the rain. so how was the debut of private citizen george w. bush? the decide-avator? >> i thought did he a great job. president bush is a texan. he stood behind the decisions he made while he was in the white house. he owned up to his sxaksz to this day, he believes what did he was the right thing. i think that man sleeps just fine at night. >> how was the president's speech? >> it was very, very motivating. i really enjoyed that. that was the highlight of the day. >> did you see president bush's speech? >> yes. >> what did you think? >> excellent. first time i ever you saw him in person. it was very good. it made a lot of people laugh. >> i loved the speakers. very motivational. george bush, probably the best speaker so far. he really came out there and he talked a lot about things people
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wanted to hear. he was very articulate. he made sense. a lot of times he's vilified for not being a great speaker in public but he did excellent. >> did you see president bush? >> i. did you it was phenomenal. he got up there and was able toirk didn't really know what he was going to present but he was able to draw the crowd together and kind of present a coherent speech. and i think got a lot of applause and people were very impressed with what he brought out. >> sinls it was a motivational speech, you was it mission accomplished? >> do you female motivated? >> do i. more motivated than when i got here at 6th this morning. demote 58th you you? >> i think so. >> you would you say you were motivated now? >> i am motivated. >> how do you feel? do you feel motivated? >> very motivated. >> do i, actually. i was kind of motivated a little bit more by terry bradshaw. i'm a huge sports fan. what can i say?
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>> yes. terry bradshaw, the steelers' quarterback who went on after the 43rd president of the united states. and he killed, killed. >> so it was president bush and then terry bradshaw. >> yes, it was. president bush followed right behind had i by terry bradyou shaw. >> be honest, who was funnier? >> i have to say bradyou shaw. >> who was funnier? >> president bush, terry bradshaw? >> terry bradshaw. >> who was funnier? >> i would say terry bradshaw. >> the bottom line, terry bradshaw, funnier than president bush? >> definitely. >> it seems like george w. bush, this might be a viable career for him. it seems like people liked him even if he is not very funny. >> yeah. but i should always go ahead of terry bradshaw, not after. you don't follow bradshaw. >> did you get motivated by this experience? >> all i can say is, if you can dream

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